Harrisburg Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen Island Design Tips

Looking for more counter space, seating, and storage in your kitchen? A kitchen island may be the solution.

A kitchen island is an unattached counter with access on all sides. Islands can enhance a kitchen’s style and function. But is a kitchen island right for your home? Consider your space and needs to decide.


First, determine if you have enough space for an island.

A kitchen island requires adequate space to be functional. The island should enhance your kitchen’s utility, workflow, and appearance, not detract from it. There must be enough space around its perimeter to open doors, sit down, and move comfortably.

How do you know what will work well? The answer is experience.

Professionals use the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Guidelines to maximize the safety and functionality of kitchens and bathrooms.

Here are a few guidelines to consider: 

  • The work aisle (where you stand while working in the kitchen) should be at least 42 inches wide. 
  • Walkways within the kitchen should be at least 36 inches and should not cross the work triangle. 
  • The height of an island can vary based on function. The standard kitchen countertop height is 36 inches, but 30 inches is best for food-prep. 


Once you determine that you have the space for an island, it’s important to consider how you want to utilize your island. 

Three main uses for an island are fixtures/appliances, storage, and seating. 

Fixtures & Appliances: An island can be a great spot for fixtures & appliances such as a sink, cooktop, dishwasher, etc. If you plan to include appliances, ensure you can access electrical outlets. 

Storage: Custom Cabinetry can make storage and organization a breeze. Our expert designers can discuss different solutions to optimize storage during an in-home consultation. 

Seating: A kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. While the main purpose of the kitchen is cooking, islands can increase the uses of the kitchen - from casual dining to a place for the kids to work on homework

Many homeowners in 2023 are selecting larger islands to incorporate dining and entertainment into the kitchen vs. a formal dining room.



Finally, it’s time for the fun part - designing your island. Here are some fun ways to customize your kitchen island in 2023: 

Statement Lighting

Central Pennsylvania homeowners are loving light fixtures that add a little character to their kitchen. Custom light fixtures not only provide a light source - they’re also a décor focal point.

Mixed Metals

Instead of selecting one metal for your cabinet hardware, faucets, etc - try mixing multiple metals, such as gold and bronze, to create visual depth to the space. 

Pops of Color 

Consider adding a pop of color to your kitchen through your island! The base of the island provides the perfect opportunity to add some color to your kitchen without going crazy. Popular hues include dark greens and warm neutrals. 

Bold Countertops

If you’re not a fan of adding color to your island, countertops are another option to add character. Bold Marble quartz has become a popular addition to kitchens in 2023. 

Enclosed Trash & Recycling 

Trash & Recycling bins take up valuable floor place & can often produce unwanted odors.

Hidden storage can easily mitigate these issues.


If you're considering a kitchen island, look for design inspiration in our Portfolio and meet with professionals you can trust.

We'd be happy to help you get the home of your dreams. Schedule an in-home consultation today!


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3146 Fulling Mill Road
Middletown, PA 17057
Phone: 717.939.7437
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Evenings and Saturdays by appointment only.
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